“If you found it within you to actually forgive yourself, would you be dishonoring them?” Vietnam veteran and motorcycle-riding Ron “Stray Dog” Hall’s therapist asks him, referring to his fallen brothers who served alongside him in the hellish jungles of southeast Asia in the 1960s.

“Yes,” Stray Dog admits, before covering his face, and tearing up.

It’s been more than 40 years since the Paris Peace Accords were signed, withdrawing United States troops from the region totally in 1973 (fighting for the Vietnamese didn’t end until 1975). But men like Stray Dog, who were drafted into the military to fight for their country at tender, young ages (he was only 17 years old when he joined) still struggle everyday with the guilt associated with the horrors they saw in Vietnam, and the evils they were pushed into executing.

In the preview footage below, Stray Dog mentions briefly cutting off an enemy’s ear and wearing it around his neck.

“I made decisions that haunt my ass, and always will,” he says.

He also mentions how the most “disturbing” part about his experience is that “it was all unnecessary”.


To watch the full series about Stray Dog on PBS, click here.